Maybe it’s because I’m currently on Whole30 and life is basically miserable. But I’ve been thinking about pizza a lot lately. Because I can’t have it. I miss it. I’ve said that already.
I may be delusional. But in thinking about all the pizza I can’t have, I’ve been thinking about all the different kinds of pizza I’ve had in my life. Paul may be the only one out there who will care about this, but I’d like to share my thoughts on some of the best pizza I’ve eaten over the years.
School Pizza – Maybe I’m crazy. But I can’t be the only one who looks back on the rectangular pizza they served up in the school cafeteria back in the late ’80s, right? The crust was more like what I’d describe as flatbread these days. The cheese was melted in a uniform fashion, you just know it was never any kind of shredded mozzarella. And the pepperoni wasn’t placed on there as flat circles. They were like little red cubes sprinkled all over. Pizza days were the best days.
Skating Rink Snack Bar Pizza – We’re still talking about those elementary days. Back then, I’m not sure what the deal was, but the school would take us to the local roller rink about once a month, so long as our parents signed the permission slip. Maybe it was some kind of reward for attendance or grades or behavior. I don’t know. But they had a snack bar there with pizza they sold for a dollar per slice. Something great about their menu was that tax was included in the price, so little kids didn’t have to try and have extra change when we handed over the dollar for our pizza. Anyway, you just know that pizza was probably the cheapest they could buy wholesale. But something about it was amazing. Maybe it was being out without parental supervision and spending my allowance on pizza and soda. The crust was thin and crispy and the cheese was greasy and gooey. Anyone got a time machine?
Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza – I know these still exist, but I rarely ever get these things anymore. But, when I was a kid, I got them a lot. Because I earned them. Anyone out there remember the Book It program? The deal was, a kid would read a book and get a sticker they could add to their Book It button. When they got so many star stickers (I can’t remember if it was five or six), they could take the button to Pizza Hut and turn it in for a free personal pan pizza. And, let me tell you, Pizza Hut knows what they’re doing. Thick, chewy, buttery crust. Delicious toppings. I may be drooling…
Papa John’s Pizza – The only other chain I’ll mention is Papa John’s. But that’s because I worked there for a while during my North Carolina years. I took heavy advantage of that 50% off employee discount. Pretty much every time I worked. Honestly, if I could take Pizza Hut’s crust and Papa John’s sauce, I think I could make the perfect pizza.
Dad’s Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza – Except this was actually the perfect pizza. When Dad would make this pizza, I had no self control. There was no such thing as stopping when you felt full with this pizza. It was too delicious not to eat it all. I’m sure that he would tell you it wasn’t anything special. I think it was just a store bought pizza dough mix that he probably bought for a dollar. Then he’d throw other ingredients on it and bake it. I had a cast iron skillet for a while and attempted to duplicate his magic. I came close, but couldn’t quite get it right. When this Whole30 thing is over, remind me to buy a cast iron skillet so I can try again.
In the meantime, I may have to find a Pizza Hut in March so I can get a personal pan pizza for my first meal when I fall off the Whole30 wagon. Then again, my cousin gave me a Papa John’s gift card for Christmas that I still haven’t used up. So many choices. I just have to wait another 20 days.